Open a book this minute and start reading. Don’t move until you’ve reached page fifty. Until you’ve buried your thoughts in print. Cover yourself with words. Wash yourself away. Dissolve. Carol Shields Republic of Love

Adding to My Indigenous Reading List

When I was musing on the possibilities for a reading list of indigenous authors, almost all of my favourites were fiction (just one memoir and some poetry snuck in). It just happened! But halfway through the reading year, I read the Summary Report of the Truth and Reconcilation Committee with my reading for the Tenth Annual Canadian Challenge, […]


MOONSHOT: The Indigenous Comics Collection (2016)

“There is no single homogenous native identity and MOONSHOT is an extensive exploration of the vast variety of indigenous storytelling in North America,” explains Hope Nicholson.

That’s editor Hope Nicholson: she and Andy Stanleigh work hard at AH Comics (Alternative History Comics) to make room on the page for voices which are more often silenced than […]


Canadian Book Challenge (10th Edition): Indigenous Writers

Even though the challenge officially begins on July 1 — and ends on the last day of the following June — it’s not too late to join The Book Mine Set’s Canadian Books Challenge.

This year is the tenth event, and John has calculated thousands of books reviewed for past challenges he’s hosted. This time, […]


Audrey Thomas’ Short Stories

Audrey Thomas has been nominated twice for the Governor General’s Award (for Intertidal Life and Coming Down from Wa, in 1984 and 1995).

She has won the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize in three years, including for The Wild Blue Yonder in 1990.

She has published ten novels, seven collections of stories, and was made an Officer […]


Jane Urquhart’s Sanctuary Line (2010)

Jane Urquhart’s Sanctuary Line McClelland & Stewart, 2010

Liz Crane is an entomologist; she studies insects. Specifically butterflies – monarchs. But, more generally, she takes time to examine what others frequently overlook. As a narrator, therefore, her perspective will not be to every reader’s taste.

She has also suffered a loss recently; her cousin, Mandy, […]


Amy Lavender Harris’s Imagining Toronto (2010)

Amy Lavender Harris’ Imagining Toronto Mansfield Press, 2010.

I first visited Toronto when I was four years old; I fell in love with a park here, a park with wooden forts in which you could climb to their very tops. If you were four years old, or, at least, small. No grown-ups allowed.

Whenever we […]


Terry Griggs’s Cat’s Eye Corner Series

Terry Griggs’s The Silver Door Raincoast Books, 2004

Have you met Murray Sheaffer, fountain pen extraordinaire? He is a most “handsome, clever and rich (yes!)” fountain pen.

Wondering how he could possibly fill the role of hero in Terry Griggs’s Cat’s Eye Trilogy?

Then you must have met some other, o-r-d-i-n-a-r-y pen. There’s no doubt […]


George Elliott Clarke’s Whylah Falls (1990)

George Elliott Clarke’s Whylah Falls (1990) Raincoast Books – Polestar, 2000

George Elliott Clarke’s Whylah Falls tells the story of a group of Afro-Canadians on the south shore of Nova Scotia.

Readers can gather that from a quick glance at the book’s front and back covers.

But what readers won’t realize until they open the […]


Timothy Findley’s Spadework (2001)

Timothy Findley’s Spadework (2001)

This is an author who has been particularly important to me. In that peculiar way in which someone with whom you have had virtually no contact can affect you more than people with whom you have spent years of your life.

So I delayed reading his last published work for ten […]


Thomas Wharton’s Icefields (1995)

Thomas Wharton’s Icefields (1995)

Readers will recognize quickly whether there is a match to be made between them and Thomas Wharton’s first novel. Ten pages should do it.

First, there is the epigraph, from Michael Ondaatje’s Coming Through Slaughter: “As if everything in the world is the history of ice.” (A lyrical but, arguably, nonsensical […]